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Home > News > PTI

WB: Bird flu spreads to poultry farms

January 30, 2008 14:13 IST
Last Updated: January 30, 2008 16:23 IST

Fresh poultry deaths were reported from a farm in South 24-Parganas in West Bengal on Wednesday, raising fears that the dreaded H5N1 virus might be spreading to the organised sector after affecting backyard poultry.

Official sources said that 250 chicken died today morning at a private poultry farm, under the Maheshtala municipality, in South 24-Parganas.

District health officials told PTI that there had been no instance of avian flu in the area earlier. Blood samples have been collected from the farm situated at Benerpukur, health officials said.

Meanwhile, culling operations continued in Budge Budge,  from where a large number of chicken deaths were earlier reported.

In North 24-Parganas, where bird flu has not been officially declared, culling has been taken up in Baduria, Swarupnagar and Habra blocks on symptomatic evidence, District Magistrate Prabhat Mitra said.

Culling in backyard poultry and in poultry farms has been taken up in a radius of five km of the affected areas in the three blocks, the DM said. Over 4,000 chicken deaths had been reported from a private farm in Baduria on Tuesday.

With avian deaths reported from the district, Kolkata is now ringed by bird flu affected districts - South and North 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.

With bird flu knocking at the doors of the metropolis, the state government on Tuesday restricted the entry of chicken into the city from only 12 farms.

In Birbhum district, where avian influenza was first reported in the state on January 15, culling is being taken up today in Suri I block, official sources said.

So far, 8 lakh chicken have been culled in the district, the sources said. Elsewhere in the district, culling operations have ended and mopping up operations have started in six blocks and two municipalities today, the sources said.

The blocks are : Rampurhat I & II, Nalhati I & II, Maureshwar I & II, Bolpur-Sriniketan block I & II, Labhpur and Nanur. The municipalities are: Rampurhat and Nalhati.

In West Midnapur district, 20,000 chicken have been culled in 107 villages in Debra block, bordering East Midnapur. 

A block level meeting is being held among officials of Debra block in West Midnapur and Panskura block in East Midnapur today to take stock of the situation, in the wake of reports that some farmers have sneaked into East Midnapur with their affected chicken.

East Midnapur has so far not reported any avian deaths. In Nadia, culling of 10,000 chicken is being taken up in Santuri block. Twenty teams comprising five members each have taken up culling, which is slated to end in the district today.

Culling teams have fanned out to Uttar Panchla village under Panchla block in Howrah district today after samples sent to Bhopal tested positive on Tuesday evening. Over 1.5 lakh chicken have been culled at Sankrail and Panchla blocks in the district.

A report from Hooghly district said a three-member team from the Union Health ministry, led by Dr B C Jain, today visited areas of Balagarh and Mogra blocks, from where poultry deaths have been reported. District Magistrate Vinod Kumar on Wednesday said that the culling target in the district had been completed.

Meanwhile, panic gripped Arambagh sub-division in the district where the state's largest hatchery farm, Arambangh Hatcheries, is situated, official sources said. Sub-divisional Officer, Arambagh, Subhanjan Das however, allayed fears and said officials of Arambagh Hatcheries were in constant touch with the district authorities.

Das said the movement of people with poultry had been restricted in the district. Arambagh sub-division, comprising four blocks, has 120 poultry farms besides Arambagh Hatcheries. Chicken was being sold in the open market at Arambagh at Rs 25 per kg today.

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